South West Wales

Grandmother's Rhiwfawr School closure protest song

Pupils from a primary school threatened with closure have gone to the Welsh assembly to perform a protest song written by one of their grandparents.

They are hoping Rhiwfawr School in the Swansea Valley can be saved.

Elsbeth Brough wrote the Welsh language lyrics and the pupils have also made a video, which is on YouTube.

Neath Port Talbot council said the school near Cwmllynfell, which has 28 full-time and 10 part-time pupils, had too many surplus places.

It said the school also had higher than average per pupil costs and wants the youngsters to go to Cwmllynfell instead.

But Mrs Brough said the closure would turn Rhiwfawr into a "forgotten village."

"I thought [a song] would be the simplest way to get the children involved," she said.

"It is something that they enjoyed doing and they had a lot of fun out of it.

"The children really are happy at this school... there is a unity at the school between staff, children, parents and the village as a whole."

In a statement the council said the numbers of pupils attending the school had fallen by 35% in the last 10 years.

"Pupil numbers are projected to increase over the next five years, though the increase will not have a significant impact on reducing surplus places or high per pupil cost.

"Cwmllynfell has sufficient capacity to accommodate all additional pupils on roll from Rhiwfawr and there is nursery provision at both schools."

It said the final decision rested with the Welsh Assembly Government.

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